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Book of the Week: Chrysanthemum Love


Fay Aoyagi’s first collection of haiku, from her own Blue Willow Press in 2003, was like a breath of fresh air, mingling wafts of old and modern Japan among the zephyrs of Northern California.

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

All haiku in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by Tom Clausen, and are used with permission.

yellow daffodils
an urge to
buy a banjo

intact zero fighter
at the Smithsonian-
cherry blossom rain

a winter butterfly-
my first marriage
in the jewelry box

Nagasaki Anniversary
I push
the mute button

August waves
I tell my story
to jellyfish

cold rain-
my application
to become a crab

I blame the quietness
of rain

my high wire act
for you
and this moon

going Dutch
for the omelettes
and this sea breeze

a new summer hat
she may be out 
of love

tadpoles with legs-
I assure him there's no need
to leave his wife

Independence Day
I let him touch
a little bit of me

unexpected pregnancy
she spits out
watermelon seeds

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Aoyagi-san’s haiku always seem to open the door to a new way of seeing…


  2. I’m so glad this book is being highlighted. An extremely important book for the development of modern haiku and well spotted by Bill Higginson who used the method of a review to bring this to our attention.

    A wonderful book, one I often delve back into, whether I hit a writing void, or the reverse.

    An utter delight of poetry.


  3. There are certain books that as a writer help you to move forward into unforeseen possibility. This is one of those books. It taught me another way of thinking about haiku. William J. Higginson gave the book a strong review:

    And David Lanoue, current President of the HSA, wrote a wonderful essay on Aoyagi for a 2009 issue of Modern Haiku:

    Her books should be on the shelves of all haiku writers.

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